The View From Churchmans

Ipswich Town home match reports from just another season-ticket holder


Ipswich Town 5 Barnsley 1

Given the way this season has been going, I couldn’t decide between 6-0 or
0-3 in the TWTD Prediction League, and eventually went for the big home win,
which wasn’t far off as it turned out. Barnsley were enthusiastic but really
don’t offer much in any area of the pitch, and I’ll be amazed if they escape
relegation. It was one of those games against generally poor opposition
where if any of our players didn’t shine, their position in the team really
ought to be questioned.

The game was an entertaining affair on a shirtsleeved afternoon. Although
the better team won easily, Barnsley never gave up and had a fair number of
reasonable chances. No great selection surprises; with Wilnis filling in at
right-back, the teamsheet has changed from starting Price-Wright… to
Price-Fab…, a holiday weekend special promotion I guess. Hats off to TBBM*
for replying to the question “Did you get the letter from the club today
about renewing your season ticket?” with “Yeah, but I’m holding out for a
full 50% reduction on the price. Of this season’s”.

It was that kind of afternoon; some folks were trying to get a Mexican wave
going during a period when Town were scoring at a rate of about a goal every
3 minutes.

Overall Town Performance: 8 (4 for effort/4 for achievement)

* The Bloke Behind Me, copyright When Saturday Comes about 1990

Player Ratings

PRICE 6 (3/3): One of Lewis’s more confident and competent displays,
although to be fair he didn’t have to pull off any spectacular saves, or
marshal a besieged defence. Or do anything much really.

WILNIS 5 (3/2), BRUCE 6 (3/3), DE VOS 7 (4/3), WRIGHT 5 (2/3): The full
backs were disappointing for different reasons; Fab is willing, and pulled
off some of the most crowd-pleasing moments of the afternoon, but the truth
is, he’s far too easily beaten when it counts. David Wright is fine when his
mind is on the game, but he’s generally distracted and needs to get his act
together. The central defenders had a straightforward workout which they
coped with comfortably.

PETERS 7 (4/3), O’CALLAGHAN 8 (4/4), GARVAN 9 (4/5), ROBERTS 6 (3/3):
Whilst the individual performances of the two Irishmen in the middle was
good, the way they worked together was even better. They covered for each
other right and left, forward and back, and consequently seemed to be
everywhere. Their tackling was great, their distribution was excellent, and
they both made contributions in front of goal too. If we’re to stand any
chance of hanging on to Owen Garvan this summer, we really have to hope that
(a) Charlton get relegated, and (b) he hasn’t got a self-interested,
career-ruining, Jonathan Barnett-like agent. Jamie worked tirelessly again,
and scared the life out of the Barnsley defence at times without really
delivering enough telling final balls. Oh for a combination of his
application with Gary Roberts’ unquestionably better vision and delivery –
still, this was an improved display from Gary, who does seem to have slowed
visibly since he joined us.

LEE 4 (2/2), WALTERS 7 (4/3): It seems harsh to give Alan Lee such a low
mark, as this wasn’t as bad as one or two recent performances, but the fact
was that his attitude was selfish – so drop a point for effort – and that
any half-decent striker should have scored, given that much opportunity in
45 minutes – so drop a point for achievement. I’m all for centre-forwards
having one aim in mind, but in the middle of such an impressive display of
passing and movement, it grated to see Lee get the ball out on the touchline
and not even look up, just try to cut in and pass however many players it
took to get a shot in. The move with Jon Walters which led to Alan hitting
the woodwork was one of those breathtaking moves where skill and sheer good
fortune come together, but realistically it was a bad miss. Jon’s
contribution to the afternoon was far more impressive; he plays in an
undemonstrative style where his actual impact will usually be greater than
the perceived one, but you need players like that in a team. The difference
between his play and Alan Lee’s was encapsulated in the move from which Owen
Garvan nearly scored one of the best goals all season; Jon could have had a
go himself, but flicked it on for Owen to be foiled by the best save I’ve
seen for months.

Subs: We probably had higher hopes of JEFFERS 6 (3/3) than his subsequent
display provided, especially as he had a decent 45-minute run-out, but hey,
nice to see him get an unexpected second chance. I know they’re really
excited about his presence at the club, although I’m not enough of a
football insider to quite understand why. Still, if it helps towards the
team playing like they did today, that’s alright by me. HAYNES had obviously
watched Peters and realised that Barnsley had no answer to speed, so came on
brimming with confidence and took them to pieces. Great stuff.

The CROWD were very quiet throughout, just seemingly relaxed and soaking up
the rays. Come on lads! It’s not all over! We’re barely the number two club
in East Anglia on current league standings! The REFEREE was one of those
ultra-pedantic ones who was operating a 50cm exclusion zone around any
player with the ball – get any closer and it was yet another free kick. At
least he wasn’t quite as card-happy as he was whistle-happy. Barnsley’s
keeper was my man of the match, by the way, despite letting in five. There
were two or three quite remarkable saves amongst many more straightforward

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